Threat to postal jobs and rural post

RURAL postal services could be cut if a profit cannot be made, according to Cllr Brian Stanley, who is also warning of a threat to jobs in Laois as a result of proposed new legislation.

RURAL postal services could be cut if a profit cannot be made, according to Cllr Brian Stanley, who is also warning of a threat to jobs in Laois as a result of proposed new legislation.

The Communication Regulation Postal Services Bill, currently before the Dil, is designed to introduce competition to the postal services.

However, the Sinn Fein General Election candidate claims it may leave rural residents without a postman, and cause job losses at Portlaoise Mail Centre.

Cllr Stanley pointed to the privatisation of the Royal Mail in Britain where it has emerged that, despite legislation, services to rural areas can be downgraded if a profit is not being made.

"The bill would open the door to privatisation. This has the potential to undermine the obligation on the postal service to deliver to remote areas that are not profitable for the company. If other companies are allowed cherry pick, it would have obvious implications for Portlaoise Mail Centre where hundreds are employed.

"Like the bus routes where the more profitable areas were picked off by private companies, An Post could be left providing a mere social function to small villages," the Cllr warned, while praising the company for the level of service they currently provide.

He said guarantees must be enshrined in the new bill to ensure that An Post will not be asset stripped and that the people are not left with a poorer and more expensive service